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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
John: Hello and welcome to Culture Class: Russian Superstitions and Beliefs, Lesson 4 - Broken Mirrors and Pigeons on the Windowsill. I'm John and I'm joined by Karina.
Karina: Привет! (Privet!) I'm Karina.
THE TWO SUPERSTITIONS
John: In this lesson we will talk about two common superstitions in Russia. The first superstition is about bad luck. What’s the superstition called in Russian?
Karina: разбитое зеркало, (razbitae zerkala).
John: Which literally means "broken mirror." Karina, can you repeat the Russian phrase again?
Karina: [slow] разбитое зеркало [normal] разбитое зеркало
John: This superstition reminds you to be careful when you’re brushing your teeth or putting on makeup.
Karina: In Russia, it's believed that if you break a mirror, you’ll have 7 years of troubles.
John: It's because in the 15th century, when glass mirrors began to appear, they were very expensive.
Karina: People wanted to discourage others from breaking them.
John: So like many other superstitions, this belief has a practical purpose.
John: The second superstition is about good luck. What is the superstition called in Russian?
Karina: голубь на подоконнике, (golup' na padakonike).
John: Which literally means "pigeon on your windowsill." Let’s hear it in Russian again.
Karina: [slow] голубь на подоконнике [normal] голубь на подоконнике
John: I usually don’t like pigeons.
Karina: In Russia, you might feel differently.
John: That’s because it's believed that a pigeon sitting on your windowsill is a good sign...
Karina: ...and nothing bad will happen in the near future.
John: This superstition probably started because the pigeon is a symbol of peace and love in many countries.
Karina: And since pigeons used to bring mail, they’re still associated with good news.

Outro

John: There you have it - two Russian superstitions! Are they similar to any of your country’s superstitions? Let us know in the comments!
Karina: Пока! (Poka!)

3 Comments

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RussianPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 6:30 pm
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Have you ever experienced something similar to what was explained in the lesson?

RussianPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 11:51 am
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Hi Jason,


Thanks for sharing! Let us know if you have any questions!


Cheers,


Khanh

Team RussianPod101.com

Jason
Saturday at 12:55 am
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I always wondered where the "seven years bad luck" thing came from! we have that in USA. Never heard the other one, though.